Fix This Device Cannot Start. (Code 10) Error With WiFi & Other Drivers

This device cannot start. (Code 10) is a common error with WiFi, Bluetooth, display, and other drivers on Windows 11, 10, or lower. You might face driver-related issues on your PC and if the drivers don’t work properly, they can cause a lot of issues with the functioning of your PC. 

When you open the Device Manager, you might see an exclamation mark in front of a driver. When you right-click on it and click on Properties, under General, you will see an error message reading: This device cannot start. (Code 10). The specific request is not a valid operation for the target device.

This device cannot start. (Code 10)

If you see a similar error with any of your drivers on a Windows PC then this guide is for you. In this guide, I will be showing some easy methods to fix Code 10 issue. 

Fix This Device Cannot Start. (Code 10)

Let’s start with the easy to advanced ways to fix this annoying error with your Windows PC.

Restart Your PC

Restarting your PC is the first thing you should be doing. Sometimes, the drivers might not work properly because of an improper startup. When you restart your PC, it gets time to properly boot up and chances are that your issue will be resolved easily by restarting.  

Disable and Enable the Device 

If you still see this error with a driver even after restarting then you can try disabling and enabling the device on your own from the device manager. Here is how you can do it:

Step 1: Go to the Windows Search bar, type Device Manager, and hit enter. 

Step 2: Locate and highlight the faulty driver with the exclamation mark. 

Step 3: Right-click on it and then click on Disable device. Click on Yes

Disabling a driver to Fix This Device Cannot Start. (Code 10)

Step 4: Now, right-click again on the same driver and then click on Enable device

Enabling a driver

Now you can check if the driver is working or not. If not, you can move on to the next method. 

Uninstall the Driver To Get Rid of Code 10 error

You can try uninstalling the faulty driver and then reinstall it again. This works for a lot of users. Here is how to do it:

Step 1: Click on the Search icon on the taskbar. 

Step 2: Type Device Manager and hit enter.

Step 3: Locate and highlight the faulty driver with the exclamation mark. 

Step 4: Right-click on it and then click on Uninstall device.

Uninstalling a driver

Step 5: Uncheck the option for Attempt to remove the driver from this device. Click on Uninstall

Now simply restart your PC and upon the restart, Windows will auto-install the driver and this should fix the issue. 

Update the Driver

Sometimes, it is an old version of the driver that gets corrupted or has some issues. In that case, you can try updating the driver and this will fix the issue for you. Here is how to do it:

Step 1: Click on the Search icon on the taskbar. 

Step 2: Type Device Manager and hit enter.

Step 3: Locate and highlight the faulty driver with the exclamation mark. 

Step 4: Right-click on it and then click on Update driver.

update driver. to fix this device cannot start

Step 5: Select Search automatically for drivers and click on Next.  

That’s it! Now the system will automatically update the driver. Once the process is finished, restart your PC. Make sure you are connected to the internet during this process. After the update check if the error “This device cannot start” is gone or not.

Roll Back Driver Update 

This might sound a little weird, like why would I want to roll back a driver update but sometimes new updates might not fully support your PC because of a number of reasons. And that is why you can try rolling back to a previous update. Here is how to do it: 

Step 1: Click on the Search icon on the taskbar. 

Step 2: Type Device Manager and hit enter.

Step 3: Locate and highlight the faulty driver with the exclamation mark. 

Step 4: Right-click on it and then click on Properties

driver properties

Step 5: Now go to the Driver tab. 

Step 6: Here, you will see an option to Roll Back Driver, if there is a previous version of the driver available, you can seamlessly roll back to it by clicking on the option. 

Rolling back a driver update to fix this device cannot start

Run the Windows Troubleshooter to Fix Code 10 error

If none of the methods mentioned above are working and you can’t figure out the issue, it is time to run the Windows troubleshooter. Windows automatic troubleshooter can find the problem with the driver and might fix the Code 10 error. Here is how to do it on Windows 11:

Step 1: Click on the Windows icon on the Task Bar to open the menu. 

Step 2: Now click on Settings

Step 3: Click on System from the left and then select the Troubleshoot option. 

Step 4: Now click on Other troubleshooters, click on it.

Step 5: Now you have to find the Troubleshooter related to the driver. If it is a Network driver, you have to click on the Network Adapter troubleshooter and if it is a Bluetooth driver, click on Bluetooth

Step 6: Once you click on the related troubleshooter, simply click on Run

Now the troubleshooter will run and will detect any possible issues. It will also recommend you a course of action.

Fix This Device Cannot Start With Hardware Troubleshooter

If the Windows Troubleshooter isn’t helping your cause to fix This device cannot start. (Code 10) error then you can also try running the hardware troubleshooter. Here is how to do it on Windows 11: 

Step 1: Press the Windows+R keys together on the keyboard. 

Step 2: Type “msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagonistic” and hit enter. 

Running hardware troubleshooter

Step 3: This will open the hardware troubleshooter, just simply click on Next

This hardware troubleshooter will try to detect any hardware problems in your PC. This process might take time but it will show you the correct results. Once, it detects the issue, it will show you suggestions to resolve the issue and you have to follow the on-screen instructions to resolve it. 

Delete UpperFilters and LowerFilters Registry Keys To fix Code 10 Error

If you are still unable to start the device then you can tweak some registry keys to remove the error message. Follow this method carefully:

First, we need to find the GUID of the faulty driver, and then with the help of GUID, we will find the UpperFilters & LowerFilters registry key of the driver.

Step 1: Click on the Search icon on the taskbar. 

Step 2: Type Device Manager and hit enter.

Step 3: Locate and highlight the faulty driver with the exclamation mark. 

Step 4: Right-click on it and then click on Properties

Step 5: Now go to the Details tab. 

Step 6: Under Property, use the drop-down menu to select Class Guid. Here, you will get a value, you simply have to right-click on it to copy it. 

class GUID

Editing the Registry 

Step 1: Click on the Search icon on the taskbar. 

Step 2: Type Registry Editor and hit enter.

Step 3: Expand the menu on the left and go to the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class

Step 4: Now click on the Edit tab and then click on Find

search in registry editor

Step 5: Paste the Class Guid value you copied in the above step and click on OK. Once the value is highlighted, we can move to the next process

Before making any changes, it is safe to create a backup.

Simple highlight the value, click on the File tab and then click on Export

export registry key

Save the registry key with any name you want. 

Once you do that, follow these steps:

Step 1: On the right pane, you will see some registry values.

Step 2: If you see two keys named: UpperFilters and LowerFilters, simply delete both of them by right-clicking on them. 

delete UpperFilters and LowerFilters

Once you do this, simply restart your PC to see if This device cannot start. (Code 10) issue is gone or not. 

Install the Latest Drivers Manually 

If the above method did not work then you can simply install the latest version of the driver on your own. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Open the web browser. 
  2. Simply type “YOUR_PC_MANUFACTURER drivers” and hit enter. For example, if you have an Asus PC, just type “Asus drivers” and hit enter. 
  3. Open the official site to download the drivers. 
  4. You might be asked to fill out basic details of your PC, simply enter them. 
  5. Now you will see all the drivers you can download. 
  6. Download and install the fault driver just like you would any other software. 

That’s it! 

Perform a Power Flush 

What happens is one fine day you shut down your PC and the next day you see that your system is not recognizing the connected or installed hardware? In that case, you can perform a power flush to resolve this issue.

Power flush or power drain will remove any saved state of hardware from the capacitors by discharging the static current. This is truly a game-changer method and will definitely help you out.   

For Tower PC

  1. If you have a tower PC or a custom desktop then, first of all, shut it down. 
  2. Turn off the Power supply by using the button on the PSU. 
  3. Remove the power plug. 
  4. Remove all the peripherals from the PC. 
  5. Now press and hold the power button for about 30 seconds. 
  6. Doing this will discharge all the capacitors. 

Now connect everything back and start the PC.

For Laptops

If you have a laptop then you will have to remove the battery first and then press and hold the power key for 30 seconds. In case the battery is non-removable, you should do the power flush yet. If it doesn’t work you have to discharge your laptop completely and then do all of the steps mentioned above.

Turn on the laptop and check the faulty driver.

Power Flush works like magic with WiFi and Bluetooth drivers. With other drivers, it should work too.

Perform a System Restore To Fix “This device cannot start” error

If you have created a system restore point then you can roll back your PC to the date where everything was working fine. To access the system restore wizard, follow these steps:

Step 1: Press the Windows+R keys together on the keyboard. 

Step 2: Type “rstrui.exe” and hit enter. 

Step 3: Click on Next

Step 4: Now, if you have created a system restore point where everything on your PC was fine, you can select and roll back to that version. 

If you don’t see a system restore point then you have not created any. Always make sure to create a system restore point of the current version before you perform a system restore. 

Closing Phrase

This device cannot start. (Code 10) error is a common problem with Windows 10/11 and 8/8.1, it mainly happens with WiFi, Bluetooth, Display, and some other important drivers.

Above are some of the tried and tested ways to fix Code 10 error. First of all, you can try disabling/enabling the faulty driver, uninstall it, update it or roll back the driver update. Apart from that, you can also run the Windows and hardware troubleshooter.

Then there is the power flush option that can really help and you can try performing a system restore as well. Please make sure to follow all of these steps and it will definitely help you resolve the issue. \

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